California Drivers: Show Proof of Auto Insurance With iPhones?

A new auto insurance proposal could allow drivers in California to access their proof of insurance right from their iPhones and other smartphones. The legislation maintains that drivers must always carry written documentation of financial responsibility, but is simply making it easier for them to do so, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Auto Insurance Proof of Coverage Required in California

California state law requires drivers to carry evidence of financial responsibility in their vehicles at all times. More specifically, they are required to carry proof of minimum liability auto insurance, which for the state includes:

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person
  • $5,000 for damage to property

Drivers must present this proof of coverage when requested by law enforcement, renewing vehicle registration or involved in a traffic collision.

To ensure the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is able to keep track of who is carrying the proper coverage, insurance companies are required by law to electronically report private-use vehicle insurance to the department. If the DMV finds that a driver owns a registered vehicle that is not insured, it has the right to take action through vehicle suspension.

Smartphones Could Access Proof of Coverage

To make it easier for drivers to show their proof of coverage, state Assemblyman Mike Gatto has proposed that iPhones, other smartphones like BlackBerries and Android devices–even tablets–have access to this information.

The Los Angeles Democrat is asking that state law be amended in Assembly Bill 1708 so that insurers will be required to provide written documentation of financial responsibility to a mobile electronic device upon request.

The bill is said to define a mobile electronic device as a “small, hand-held computing and communication device that has a display screen with touch input or a miniature keyboard.”

There is currently no word on whether the bill has been strongly considered among other state lawmakers.